Welcome to the 2013 session of the Holston Annual Conference, held today through Wednesday at Lake Junaluska Assembly. This year’s Annual Conference is comprised of nearly 2,000 clergy and lay members representing 889 churches and 12 districts in east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and north Georgia. Also attending are representatives of three related colleges, five Wesley Foundations, a children's home, a retirement community, four camps, and several seminaries and ministry teams.
The Annual Conference is the yearly meeting of Holston United Methodists for spiritual renewal, ministry, and business decisions. Ordination and appointments of clergy also take place. John Wesley desired Annual Conference to be a means of God’s grace through Christian “conferencing.”
About this newspaper
The Call is Holston's central source of news and information. This daily Annual Conference edition will be available Monday through Wednesday by 8 a.m. at Stuart Auditorium. Our Annual Conference theme is "Imagine," so this year The Call is celebrating with an "Imagine" banner. We're also celebrating a new resident bishop, Mary Virginia Taylor, with an upgrade to color on our front pages. (See Sunday page 1 PDF, Sunday page 2 PDF)
For each of these next four days, the front page will include a daily schedule. The Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday editions will feature news from the previous day on the back page. Rely on this newspaper to keep you informed while you are here and to aid in preparing reports for your congregations back home.
Other ways to get Annual Conference news:
• Live streaming at AC.Holston.org
• Daily reports at Holston.org
• Ongoing news and photos at Facebook.Holston.org
• Highlights, breaking news via Twitter @TheCall_Holston
Changes in this year's schedule
Instead of early-morning "Jump Start" or "Morning Glory" chapel services, the Monday and Tuesday morning sessions will begin with worship and Holy Communion at 8:30 a.m. in Stuart Auditorium, immediately followed by business. The offering for Imagine No Malaria will be taken at tonight's 7:30 worship service.
The 7 p.m. Monday evening session will be devoted to business and will not include a worship service. The vote for the 2014 budget is scheduled for Tuesday late afternoon. The Ordination and Commissioning Service will be combined with the Sending Forth Service on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
For those dining in Terrace or Lambuth tonight, dinner will be served at 5:45 to accommodate the Clergy and Laity Sessions, which begin at 5 p.m.
Worship with Holy Communion begins at 7:30 p.m. with Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor preaching. Music will be provided by the Concord UMC Choirs, Oak Ridge District.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newsletter.